Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Priyanka Parashar/Mint

We found peace of mind with respect to our money

Gurgaon-based Manikantan and Lakshmi share their story on how they found a practical approach towards money with the help of their financial planner

Name: Manikantan Raman

Age: 40

Profession: Project leader with a multinational company

Name: Lakshmi Devi

Age: 39

Profession: Homemaker

City: Gurgaon

Financial planner: Shilpi Johri, certified financial planner and founder, Arthashastra Consulting

Manikantan Raman and Lakshmi Devi found a practical approach towards money with the help of their financial planner.

The block

When Manikantan and Lakshmi tied the knot in 2001, they decided to account for every paisa they earned or spent. Manikantan started investing wherever his peers were investing but didn’t find the growth satisfactory. He then started investing in mutual funds through online finance advisories but that lacked a personal touch. After 5-6 years, the couple finally decided to seek a financial adviser’s help.

The goals

“Our main problem was that we didn’t have fixed goals. I was inspired by the wealth of people like Warren Buffett, but didn’t know how to create wealth of my own," said Manikantan. “The first thing Shilpi (Johri; the couple’s financial planner) did was to segregate our short- , medium- and long-term goals. Also, despite my being the sole earning member, she made sure both I and Lakshmi were part of all discussions. This is the personal touch that was lacking all those years," he added.

Lakshmi agrees that being part of the discussions has helped her understand the family’s finances better.

The couple wrote down all their goals, right from owning a car and buying a house, to having enough insurance, planning for the education of their son Roshan (13), and retirement.

Course correction

Manikantan said Shilpi made him more practical about his investments. “It was just before the market meltdown of 2008. I had a lot of mutual fund investments. I was waiting for this to grow further but she advised me to redeem. I did that and made a handsome profit, which I used to make the down payment of our house in Chennai. This made me realise that she was seriously working towards making my wealth grow," he recalled.

The couple now consults Shilpi even for small financial decisions. “She didn’t just make us curb our expenses; she also helped us fulfil dreams. I wanted to buy a Honda City but thought I couldn’t afford it and was about to buy a Hyundai Santro. But she made sure I could buy my dream car," said Manikantan.

Key advice

Manikantan was asked to buy a good sum of insurance via term plans, and health insurance with appropriate top-ups.

The couple now regularly reviews investments. For example, Roshan wants to study medicine and they had already built a major portion of this corpus. Since this goal is just 5 years away, they were advised to move the investments to less volatile instruments.

“The best thing to come out of this association is that I am at peace with money matters and know that if something happens to me, my family would be able to maintain the same life style as they have now," said Manikantan.